I have contended that Thomas Pynchon is playing into my strong suit. This article in Elle, proves my point. I was a beat-hippie who became a writer, and Thomas is a writer who became a hippie/beat – in fiction only!
We hippies set fashion trends, and, Pynchon’s book ‘Inherent Vice’ made into a movie, is rehashing those trends. Futher more, my high school sweetheart, Marilyn Reed, let my wife-to-be wear one of her Train Dresses to our wedding. Mary Ann Tharaldsen was married to Thomas Pynchon, thus, Thomas is in my family tree.
Above is a photograph of Marilyn taken at Malibu by her friend, Steven Silverstein, before he became a famous fashion photographer who shot several covers for Elle. Marilyn designed and made the dress she is wearing, and the dress she wore at our wedding. Marilyn is partially seen in the photo of us singing along with Bryan Maclean who played with the rock group Love. M made a Train Dress for Debbie Boone, and designed clothes for the actress, Maggie Trett who did a Star Trek episode.
My later sister designed and made her own clothing, as did our mother. Christine became a famous artist by cutting out fashion photos and projecting them on a screen. Rosamond’s fashionable women were found all over the world.
Last but not least, I envisioned a Broadway Musical, called ‘Love Dance’ that is based upon the music of Love. It was going to be a fashion plate. I altered the song ‘Putting on the Ritz’. Today, it looks like everyone is all dressed for the 70s with n place to go.
“The ‘take you higher dancers’. They are women in mesh and white high-heel boots. These are his women, his dames he met in the art world. Listen to this!”
Have you seen the well-to-do hippie up and down 42nd. Avenue
On that famous thoroughfare, with their noses in the air
High hats and tie-dyed collars, white spats and lots of flowers
Spending every dime, for a wonderful time
If you’re a wanna-be Bohemian
and you don’t know where to go to
Why don’t you go where Boho fashion sits,
Puttin’ on the Woodstock!
Different types who wear day-glow pants with candy stripes
And cut away coat that really rocks
Puttin’ on the Woodstock.
Dressed up like a million dollar rock star
Trying hard to look like Alice Cooper (super duper)
Come let’s mix where aged Beatniks walk with sticks
Or Chinese umbrellas in their mitts
Puttin’ on the Woodstock!
There have been a lot of articles about how to dress like the characters of Inherent Vice. Do you have any good tips on channeling the look with today’s clothes?
“What we’ve lost since the ’70s is the idea of letting it all hang out.”
It’s difficult to make things look period anymore because, over the past 45 years, it’s been co-opted by the fashion world. I think it’s there, though. It’s with an eye to freedom and a love of the body. What we’ve lost since the ’70s is the idea of letting it all hang out. People just allowed their body to be. They dressed in crochet, in cutouts, in bikinis. And they weren’t so concerned with the thigh gap and the ab six-pack. Those girls were quite fleshy and seemed like normal girls. Wear things that show your body in a positive way. Use textures like crochet or suede or ultra-suede or knits. Embrace anything vaguely bohemian that feels free and easy. I never do anything consciously. You never know what’s going to capture an audience’s imagination. I’m always surprised to find that something turns up on the runway later. I think this look is about freedom and a love of your body without the societal pressure we have now.
Mark Bridges found himself deep in the ’70s when it came to working on Paul Thomas Anderson’s much-anticipated adaptation of the 2009 Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice. Bridges has a lot of experience creating looks based on beloved books—he also brought to life the sartorial blueprint of Silver Linings Playbook and the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey—and his costumes pay homage to author’s vision while creating a world of their own. His work on Vice earned Bridges his second Oscar nod (he took home a statue for his work on 2012’s The Artist) and a Costume Designers Guild Awards nomination for Excellence in Period Film. We spoke with the designer about translating Pynchon to the screen and why he didn’t get intimate with Christian Grey before hopping into bed with his next project.
Had you already read Inherent Vice when you found out you’d be working on the film?
No, but that was one of the first things I did. Paul [Thomas Anderson] recommended that [my team and I] read the book because a lot of it was in there—or, at least, the DNA of it. We had a touchstone with Pynchon, and we could take his advice or not. Each character has [his or her] own iconic place in the story. Some of the favorites of mine from the book didn’t even end up in the finished script! But, ultimately, you want to elaborate on Pynchon’s descriptions and make it something even better.
Was there any pressure to keep your designs at least consistent with Pynchon’s descriptions of the characters?
Not any pressure, certainly. And he doesn’t describe everybody. My goal was to have the essence of Pynchon but also the freedom to make it my own, make it photogenic, and make it fit into the whole of what we were doing.
Bridges says he took style cues for “Inherent Vice” from the musicians of the time. “A lot of the DNA for Doc was Neil Young,” he says, citing the army jacket and a Native American medallion in particular. And he says he lifted one peach henley straight from Joe Cocker: “There are pictures of Joe in ’69 or ’70 and he’s screaming away in a tie-dyed henley. We’ve so co-opted the henley now, but in those days it was still a long-underwear top. The hippies didn’t have a lot of money, so they’d go to an Army surplus, get a shirt for two bucks and have their girlfriend tie-dye it for them.”
Opacity is Katherine Waterston’s stock in trade. On screen, her disarmingly childlike features are as hard to read as the fine print on a lease, a quality that has set her apart in a string of film roles, most recently that of Shasta Fay Hepworth, the oddly inscrutable temptress of Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice.”
Given her star turn as a carefree hippie turned avatar of hard-edge chic, it was startling to find that the actress, who gusted into the Maryam Nassir Zadeh boutique on the Lower East Side a full 50 minutes late, appeared to be as candid, approachable and endearingly girlie as a high school cheerleader.
All contrition, but pretty sure she’d be forgiven, she made up for lost time at the racks, slipping on a discreet-looking camel-tone boy coat of Ms. Zadeh’s design, then tucking her shoulder-length hair into a Garboesque fedora that lent her the spirited yet faintly shady air of the character she plays.
Her choices, she acknowledged, were not unlike the clothes that she actually wears out and about in the East Village, where she makes her home — the kind of camouflage endorsed by that breed of self-consciously stylish Manhattanites who embrace anonymity as a badge of cool.